HONG KONG — The weight of Asia's state pension systems is pushing government officials to look overseas for asset managers to help ease social security burdens.
Such moves could be a boon to asset managers in the United States and other countries, including the United Kingdom.
"There are a number of (Asian) institutional investors making their first step overseas," said Scott Lothian, Hong Kong-based head of manager research for Watson Wyatt Worldwide Inc. There have been significant investments concentrated in the domestic market for a number of years now, but due to several recent changes in regulations, there are many more opportunities for these (public) bodies to go offshore."
In the latest move, officials of China's National Social Security Fund announced earlier this month that it has obtained government permission to invest in international securities for up to 20% of its estimated $26 billion in assets. Although it could move upward of $5 billion into international investments, the Beijing-based NSSF is likely to initially put a maximum of only $800 million into non-domestic markets.